Baseball is America’s so-called national pastime. It’s a fantastic sport, one that is very popular at many different levels, particularly the college level.
Although college-level baseball may not be quite as competitive as the MLB, it comes pretty close. That said, there are some major differences between MLB-level baseball and college ball. One of the biggest differences has to do with the equipment used, particularly the baseball bats.
In the MLB, at the highest level, wooden bats are used. However, in college baseball, aluminum bats are used. So, why do college baseball players use aluminum bats? Let’s figure it out right now.
What Are College Baseball Bats Made Of?
Baseball bats in college are generally made out of aluminum or aluminum alloy. Aluminum alloy does have a number of benefits when compared to wood when used for baseball bats.
Something to take note of is that until 2009, many different kinds of composite bats were used in college ball. This included the 7050, C555, 7055, and 7046 models. These bats all contained certain mixtures of aluminum, zirconium, copper, magnesium, scandium, and titanium.
However, the use of composite bats in college balls was banned due to player safety issues, something we will discuss further below. Therefore, at this time, as far as metal bats are concerned, only aluminum is allowed.
Of course, the standard in the MLB is the wooden bat. For the record, college baseball players are allowed to use wooden bats if they so choose. However, most do choose to go with aluminum bats. So, why is this the case?
Why Do College Baseball Players Use Aluminum Bats?
If all of the professionals in the MLB use wooden baseball bats, then why do the college players use aluminum bats? Well, there are actually a few good reasons for this, so let’s take a look.
First and foremost, the main reason why aluminum bats are so popular is due to the massive amount of power that can be generated with them. Due to the way in which aluminum baseball bats are built, the ball achieves far greater speeds and distance.
Simply put, you can achieve a much harder hit that leads to much greater flight distances for the ball. Hitting a homerun is much easier done with an aluminum bat than with a wooden bat.
Now, this does in part have to do with the differences between aluminum and wood. You can generate much more force with aluminum. However, it also has to do with the fact that aluminum is much lighter than wood. Some aluminum bats are less than half the weight of wooden baseball bats.
This, therefore, has to do with the speed and strength at which the player can swing the baseball bat. Because aluminum is so much lighter than wood, a player can swing the bat much faster and harder. The harder and faster the bat is swung, the harder the ball is hit, and the further it flies.
Because an aluminum bat is much lighter, it’s also just much more comfortable to use. It puts much less strain on the batter’s arms than a wooden baseball bat does.
There is also one other reason why aluminum bats are often quite popular, something which many don’t discuss. Aluminum bats are far more durable than wooden baseball bats. Wooden baseball bats, after a few big hits, can start to degrade.
If you have ever watched an MLB game, you have probably seen a bat explode into splinters. Well, this is quite common, and it’s also quite costly.
Those wooden baseball bats are extremely costly to replace. Aluminum bats last much longer and don’t need to be replaced nearly as often. Moreover, when they do need to be replaced, the cost is not nearly as high.
The Risks Associates with Aluminum Bats
If aluminum bats are so much better than wooden bats, then why don’t the pro players in the MLB use them? The reason for this is that aluminum bats are actually considered to be somewhat dangerous. This is due to the fact that they produce such great force and speed when they hit the ball.
There are actually many injuries that occur due to aluminum baseball bats. That ball leaves the bat at such high speeds, that when it hits another player, it poses a serious risk of injury.
Therefore, after 2011, the NCA changed the rule for aluminum bats. They now have a maximum allowed ball exit speed. The point of this rule is to ensure that an aluminum bat should produce a similar effect and ball speed to a wooden baseball bat.
Aluminum Baseball Bats in College Ball – Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are a few different reasons why aluminum baseball bats are popular in college baseball. They’re lightweight, durable, perform well, and are inexpensive too.